Academic Catalog

Learning Design and Technology (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Learning Design and Technology prepares researchers to apply evidence-based practices in higher education, business, healthcare, and government.  The curriculum provides knowledge necessary to explore, evaluate, synthesize, and apply methods of inquiry to enhance learning and improve performance.  Students apply knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage theoretical and practical applications within a supportive community of practice.

The Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology is designed for those who meet the following criteria and whose research interest align with those of our faculty to provide support and mentoring.

  • Already have a Master’s degree
  • Are knowledgeable and experienced in the field (either through previous academic work or significant related work experience) and
  • Demonstrate scholarly promise

Admission Requirements

An informal interview with a potential faculty advisor is mandatory before completing an application for the Ph.D. program.

  • A completed WSU Graduate Application
  • Grade Point Average: Undergraduate 2.8 and graduate 3.4
  • Valid and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing)
  • Three academic recommendations
  • Departmental interview with faculty
  • Autobiographical statement, curriculum vita, and a research plan of intent must include research alignment with a potential academic advisor.
  • Research plan of intent must include: 
    • What are your current research interests?
    • Who do you think among our faculty would be your best advisor and why? (You can suggest 1 – 2 people as possible advisors with a rationale for each.)
    • How do the research interests of the selected advisors fit with your own interests?
    • Additional information often included in the statement of intent includes information on the candidate's background and experiences and any anomalies in the candidate's record that need explanation.

Program Requirements

All coursework must be completed in accordance with the academic procedures of the College of Education and the Graduate School's regulations governing graduate scholarship and degrees.  All doctoral committees must include a minimum of two faculty members from Learning Design and Technology; three LDT faculty members are preferred for Ph.D. students. All plans of work are developed in consultation with the student's assigned doctoral advisor.  Students are required to meet with their academic advisor before registering for courses in the first term to develop a plan of work.

A minimum of 90 credits are required for a Ph.D. in Learning Design and Technology. Core requirements in the major include:

Core Courses: 24 credits24
Design Studio I
Design Studio II
Needs Assessment and Analysis
Evaluation of Learning and Performance
Critical Issues in LDT Scholarship
Theory and Research in LDT Scholarship
Research Courses: 17 credits (15 credits required)17
Fundamentals of Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research I: Introduction
Conducting Research in Learning Design and Technology
Advanced Research Seminar and Practicum
One of the following:
Fundamentals of Ethnographic Research
Variance and Covariance Analysis
Advanced Qualitative Program Evaluation
LDT Electives: 19 credits in consultation with your advisor (LDT 7000 – 8999)19
Facilitating Digital Learning
Interactive Course Design
Message Design for Learning
Emerging Technologies for Digital Learning
Mobile Learning Technologies
Video, Simulation, and Games for Learning
UX Design for Learning
Performance Consulting and Analysis
Dissertation Research: 30 credit hours30
Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction
Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction
Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction
Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction
Total Credits90
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